Construction of the Lennox Head Community Centre has hit another hurdle with the sacking of the Melbourne-based project architects, but the building contractor says work is still ‘powering ahead’ despite the latest setback.
Construction of the Lennox Head Community Centre has hit another hurdle with the sacking of the Melbourne-based project architects, but the building contractor says work is still ‘powering ahead’ despite the latest setback. Jay Cronan

Council sacks centre architects

THE Lennox Head Community Centre has hit another major hurdle, with Ballina Shire Council sacking thearchitects contracted to des-ign the building and oversee its construction.

Melbourne-based company Greenway Hirst Page was contracted by the council for the project in 2007.

But it is believed the architects have not provided det-ailed designs to the builders despite requests – a process which could potentially save the council a significant amount of money.

While Greenway Hirst Page director Neville Page admitted there was ‘an issue’ with the contract, he refused to provide any further details about the dispute.

“I can’t say much other than that,” he said. “But the issue hasn’t been resolved. We are getting legal advice.

“We’ve had a long-term interest in the project and we feel we can come to a resolution in a friendly manner.”

It is understood the council also sought legal advice before issuing the termination notice to the architects this month.

A report presented to the councillors last night said staff was confident that the matter would not ‘impact significantly upon the delivery of the building’.

A team of workers from Bennett Constructions in Lismore has been working on the Lennox Head Community Centre for several weeks now.

“We’ve got six guys working there at the moment,” managing director Darryl Piper said. “We are powering ahead with the work.”

Although Mr Piper said he could not give an accurate completion date, the council says the centre is ‘on track’ to be finished in August this year.

The issue with the architects has not been the first hiccup for the project – the Lennox Head Community Centre has been controversial from the start.

Concerns were raised about the proposed design and look of the centre.

There was also much debate about whether a skate park would be included, with the council’s regulatory services group recommending in March last year for that section of the project to be scrapped.

But councillors unanimously supported a motion from Cr Keith Johnson to give the long-awaited skate park the green light.

Then in July last year Byron Bay timber recycler Graham Colpus chained himself to the Lennox Head Recreation Hall, which occupied the site, to protest at the council’s decision to demolish the old building without salvaging its timbers.




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